ClassPoetry from Here: Adaptive Writing About Place
In this class, we will immerse ourselves in physical, sensory, and virtual explorations of the natural world from wherever we are, using short poetry forms to express our observations and imaginings. With guidance from Harryette Mullen’s book Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary, we will celebrate small poems as field notes, which can be accumulated over time and across space, presented individually or in groupings, and which mirror the non-linear processes by which we place ourselves in both new and familiar environments.
To gather material for our poems, we will use a range of methods throughout our evenings together to explore natural worlds near and far: attuning our senses to our immediate environment through physical investigation; moving through space by taking a short walk using our body and/or virtual tools like Google Street View, co-walks with friends or family, virtually or outside together, and audio experiments like the Walking Podcast; adapting to our own circumstances, needs, and abilities with curiosity and resourcefulness. This expansive, accessible approach to place-based writing is part of the teaching artist’s daily creative practice as a physically disabled poet who uses mobility aids, and is additionally useful at a time when many of us have experienced significant changes to our travel plans and daily movements due to COVID-19.
Students will have the opportunity to write during the class meeting, with optional time to share our poems with each other. Before attending the class, students will read Harryette Mullen’s Urban Tumbleweed, along with a PDF packet, posted to Google Classrooms, provided by the teaching artist of writings by Anne Carson, Ross Gay, Eli Clare, Maggie Nelson, Angel Dominguez, Terry Tempest Williams, and others. Students of all experience levels are welcome.
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Instructions for Accessing This Online Class
In order to access live class meetings, you must have the Zoom application downloaded to your computer. You will also need a WiFi/Internet connection throughout the duration of your scheduled meeting and a computer with audio and video capability. The information to join your Zoom classroom will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration. Please check spam folders if you do not see this email upon registration. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.
Some classes use a supplemental Google Classroom page. Should your teaching artist use Google Classroom, you will be invited to join the classroom via email at least 24 hours in advance of your class (check spam folders if you are not seeing this invitation). Please note that Google Classroom requires a Gmail address to access the Classroom. If you do not have a Gmail account, the email invitation will be sent to the email address we have on file and will prompt you to create a free account or enter an existing account to join the classroom. If we are unable to send an email invitation to your non-gmail account, you will be contacted by a staff member to provide a Gmail address. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can create a free account here. Should you have concerns about this, please contact a Loft staff member at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.